Led by Tedd Syao, PhD, a professor in electrical engineering with 15 years of experience in photonics and academics, Kudo3D has created a DLP SLA 3D printer called the Titan 1 and it is generating plenty of excitement on Kickstarter, having reached its $50,000 funding goal in two minutes.
The printer is priced very competitively. Early bird pledges were sold out in short order, but there are still options ranging from $2,199 to $4,999.
Print speed is another notable factor in the Titan 1's attractiveness, with the company claiming it is at least twice as fast as comparable SLA competitors when printing at the same layer height.
It can print up to 7.54"L x 4.25"W x 9.5"H, which is the tallest build space currently available for a personal SLA printer. However, that size is reduced as X/Y resolution is increased. The build volume is 192 x 108 x 240 mm at 100 micron resolution and 70 x 40 x 240 mm at 37 micron resolution. It should be noted that the vertical layer resolution can be set separately from X/Y resolution – as low as a single micron. The easiest way to mentally grasp that kind of size is to understand that a human red blood cell is about five microns across.
"In order to differentiate our product from the other 3D printers on the market, we had to invest in some practical as well as technological innovations," said Syao, Kudo3D's founder. "It was crazy to me that all of these expensive systems were being built without modularized components."
The company has developed a patent-pending resin container based on something they call PSP – Passive Self-Peeling. It consists of six different materials including Teflon and is immune to attack from more reactive resins, a common issue for SLA printers. It was devised to minimize the separation force of a cured layer so that fine features, even those as delicate as a strand of hair, can survive the printing process.
The Titan 1 is compatible with most resins designed for 400 nanometer SLA printers. Kudo3D has partnered with MakerJuice Labs to provide resin for Kickstarter backers. Castable resin should be available around the time of first shipment, for jewelers and others who might be interested in investment casting techniques.
Kudo3D is offering a post-curing UV LED lamp – a completely separate device – to allow users to post cure their prints without baking in the sun. It is available as its own pledge for $349, because it could be used for SLA prints from other machines, or as part of a package when pledging for the Titan 1.
Rather than produce its own software and pass the costs on to the consumer, the Titan 1 can be operated with open source Pronterface and Slic3r.
The company hopes to use the funds gained from its Kickstarter campaign to open an assembly line in California.